Cut Loose

Attention to detail, not everyone has it... but you can train people for it. This icebreaker reminds people that there’s more to what the eye can see. It requires a simple needle and thread, and a little bit of prep for a lot of surprise.

Guide lines
Ready, Steady, Go!

Carefully thread the cotton through your work jacket or jersey with the needle, leaving just enough thread showing for people to notice. Somewhere around shoulder area, just out of your reach works best. Leave a lot of thread hanging down inside the jacket - still on the spool works best.

Now you’re ready to roll. Find someone to try it out on. The more OCD-types might spot the thread immediately and try to take it off you. Others might require some direction.

Lend me your ears

Glance at the thread sticking out of your jacket, half reaching for it.


Is there something on my jacket? I can’t quite reach it…

They’ll instinctively help.

Seal the Deal and Reveal

As the cotton thread gets pulled to remove it, it’ll keep coming out of the jacket, the more thread the better, aim for a few feet of thread at least.


Careful, I paid good money for this jacket, you don’t have to pull it apart.

After they’ve pulled for a while and are beginning to ‘cotton on’ that all is not what it seems, pull the small cotton spool and needle out of your pocket and reveal what’s happened.

Some extra lines you can try

  • Thanks for that, feels like I’ve just flossed my body.
  • I’m glad to see you don’t like leaving loose ends.
  • Now that you’ve cottoned on, try it for yourself.
Alternative ending

If you have a bit of prep time available, tie together more than one colour thread, so once they’ve pulled out about a foot of one colour, it changes to another colour for maximum surprise.

Anticipated responses and retorts

Is that the long and short of it?

Very funny.

Do you let it all hang out?

You are what you wear.

Will you ask me to pull your leg next?

You see how good this is. You are sounding very Coolfident.
Good follow ups
When & where
When to use it
  • When you want to get people animated and on their toes.
  • When you want to get people to feel comfortable with you.
  • When you want to give people something to remember.
Where to use it
  • general informal gatherings
  • the office
  • out and about
  • customer meetings
  • socializing
Getting ready
Items required
  • A jacket or a jersey
  • A long piece of cotton
  • A needle
  • Carefully thread the cotton through your jacket or jersey so that you have a small yet noticeable piece hanging off your garment.
Training required
  • Make sure the hanging thread is visible – have a look in a mirror to check.
Watch out (potential unexpected effects)
  • You may give someone a fright.

type type

Do It Yourself (DIY)

material material

a jacket or jersey and a needle and thread

size size

how long is a piece of cotton… ?

durability durability

100% cotton

source source

the ether

time to impact time to impact

pretty much there and then

size of audience size of audience

this is best as a one-on-one

possible health risk possible health risk

you may give people a wee scare

reusable how many times you can use it

once per person

training needed training needed

make sure the thread is not too short and not too long – you will get a feel for this quite easily

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